T Nation

Help With Goals

Alright, i’m going to give myself the next 12 weeks to focus on increasing my strength in the big lifts. I have never really focused on them before and I would like to bring my lifts up to where they should be.

I’m bigger than normal but I don’t think my strength is equal to my size. If that makes any sense. I’m 6’1" and 225 and I don’t think i’m big at all. I’m just saying that I feel like I should be stronger at my size than what I am.

Some background on me. I play volleyball year round and it has taken it’s toll on my shoulders. I haven’t been able to bench heavy in years because of rotator cuff problems. But after reading an article by Eric Cressey, i’ve changed my form and am now benching pain free. It’s amazing. However i’m still weak on bench and could maybe bench 225 for one rep if I had to. I never max out so I really have no idea what my top end would be. I have been doing 175 x 5. That’s as low as I go with reps right now.

I’ve been squatting ATG and am in love with it. And when I say ATG I mean my hamstrings are touching my calves. Or at least that’s how low i’m trying to go. I’m keeping the weight light to focus on form and flexibility. Usually staying around 155 x 10, which is pathetic.

I’ve also just started deadlifting and absolutely love it! I’d like to focus on this lift more and see what happens. I’ve just been using 135 to focus on form and keeping the reps higher. 10 - 12 rep sets.

I guess my question is would these be reasonable goals to shoot for in 12 weeks. I don’t want to set unrealistic numbers. And these would all be 1RM.

Bench - 250
Squat - 350
DL - 300, 400 I have no idea.

Also, i’ve read a lot about using a belt and not using a belt. But if i’m going to be shooting for these numbers would I need to use a belt? Not at the beginning obviously but as I get closer to my goals.

Congratulations on wanting to “get stronger”. You and I share some similar qualities. I’m 6’4", and also don’t think I’m very big or strong. As for your goals, it’s hard to tell without knowing current max in those lifts. Also, great job on choosing to squat ATG. When I first started I was working hard to get 225 that way. A couple weeks ago I got 405 X 2 ATG. I also lift entirely without a belt or wraps. I will eventually start using a belt, but I wanted to focus on core strength.

Anyway, 12 weeks is enough time to make some great gains. Do a search for the Starr/Pendlay 5X5 (not on this site), I suggest the intermediate template. They have a spreadsheet where you punch in your starting weights and it formulates your workouts for 9-10 weeks. This is what I started with. I am going to start using more of a westside template soon, but this is much easier in terms of time and just understanding what to do. Very simple, and can be done in any kind of gym. Let me know if you need any other help, and good luck!

[quote]roofus_5 wrote:
Congratulations on wanting to “get stronger”. You and I share some similar qualities. I’m 6’4", and also don’t think I’m very big or strong. As for your goals, it’s hard to tell without knowing current max in those lifts. Also, great job on choosing to squat ATG. When I first started I was working hard to get 225 that way. A couple weeks ago I got 405 X 2 ATG. I also lift entirely without a belt or wraps. I will eventually start using a belt, but I wanted to focus on core strength.

Anyway, 12 weeks is enough time to make some great gains. Do a search for the Starr/Pendlay 5X5 (not on this site), I suggest the intermediate template. They have a spreadsheet where you punch in your starting weights and it formulates your workouts for 9-10 weeks. This is what I started with. I am going to start using more of a westside template soon, but this is much easier in terms of time and just understanding what to do. Very simple, and can be done in any kind of gym. Let me know if you need any other help, and good luck! [/quote]

Alright, i’m checking out the Starr/Pendelay 5X5 right now. Thanks for the help!

No problem. Oh, another suggestion that I forgot to mention was to maybe try to find a group of powerlifters in your area. I have found the guys I hooked up with to be very cool. They won’t “judge” you or make fun, always ready to help someone get stronger. They may also know of an upcoming meet that you could shoot for, or at least watch.

Alright, after reading through the Bill Starr 5X5 Program and Waterbury’s High Frequency Training Program, I think i’m going to go with Waterbury’s HFTP.

My question with this program is I will be on vacation for a week in three weeks and won’t have access to a gym. Would I be better off waiting to start this to when I get back? Or could I start tomorrow and just take the week off in 3 weeks?

EDIT: Also, as far as diet is going to be concerned, i’m just going to try to eat clean. Currently my diet is shiat. I eat whatever, whenever and it shows. I’ve decided that i’m not going to follow some special diet or nutrition plan for now. I’m just going to follow Berardi’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective Nutritional Programs. And see where that takes me.

thats pefect that its in 3 weeks, just consider it a week off to recover. just do some body weight exersizes. 3 weeks hard 1 week back off is a good way to go